Policies and Procedures
Service Animal Policy
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at the University of Connecticut engages in an interactive and collaborative process with students in order to determine eligibility for reasonable accommodations, including the use of a service animal. By law, a service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks;
- Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds;
- Providing non-violent protection or rescue work;
- Pulling a wheelchair;
- Assisting an individual during a seizure;
- Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens;
- Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone;
- Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities;
- Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
Individuals with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animals on all University of Connecticut campuses where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go. An individual with a disability may be asked to remove a service animal from the University if the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it, or the animal is not housebroken.
If the service animal is properly excluded, the individual with a isability has the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without having the service animal on the premises.
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal. A service animal shall be under control of its handler. A service animal shall have a harness, leash or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals or other effective means).
Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal. In addition, the University may not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability. The University may, however, ask if the animal is required because of a disability, as well as what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The University may not charge the individual with a disability a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees. If the University normally charges individuals for damages caused by a pet, an individual with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by the service animal. While the law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by a student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable techniques are available.
- Students requesting to use a service animal should complete a brief intake form at the Center for Students with Disabilities, located in the Wilbur Cross Building, Room 204.
- Once an intake form has been completed, students should submit documentation which includes the following:
- A statement from an appropriate treating physician that the service animal is required due to a disability.
- A description of the work and tasks the animal has been trained to perform.
Documentation must be printed on official letterhead and signed by a qualified and credentialed practitioner who is not a family member of the student.
- Once appropriate information is received, the CSD will review the request.
- If approved for the accommodation, and the disability prohibits the student from picking up waste, University staff will assist when feasible. For students living in a University residence hall or apartment, the student is responsible for taking the service animal to an appropriate area previously determined in collaboration with Residential Life. Students are requested to speak with the appropriate operations center in order to ascertain specifics.
Northeast Operations Center – 486-5558 - Busby Suites, Charter Oak Apartments, East Campus, Hilltop Apartments, Mansfield Apartments, North Campus, Northwest Quad, Northwood Apartments and Towers
Southwest Operations Center – 486-5556 – Alumni Quad, CT Commons (formerly Grad), Hilltop, Garrigus Suites, McMahon, Shippee, Buckley, South Campus and West Campus
For additional information regarding service animals, please refer to the following resource:
This policy is derived from the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective January 1, 2009.If you have any questions regarding this policy and procedure, please contact Jennifer Lucia, Associate Director, at (860) 486-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.